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DPP chairman Su expands on China policies
China should give Taiwan more space: Su
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-14 03:09 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang said Tuesday there was no need for an immediate debate about the opposition’s China policies.

The DPP leader gave an interview to the Broadcasting Corporation of China, his first interview since his party presented the conclusions of a long debate process about its China policies last week. The radio station also broadcasts to the other side of the Taiwan Straits.

DPP lawmaker Kuan Bi-ling recently suggested that a China policy debate, the primaries for the 2016 presidential election and the party chairman election should be combined, because waiting until the middle of 2015 before organizing the debate and the primaries would be too long. It was not enough for presidential contenders to have only six months left to prepare their platform ahead of the 2016 election, Kuan said.

Kuan is seen as close to former Premier Frank Hsieh, who has pushed for more change in the opposition’s attitudes toward China.

Su said the absolute priority for the party this year was the campaign for the December 6 local elections, where the DPP hopes to win at least three of the six special municipalities and at least half of the other city mayor and county magistrate positions.

Members of the public were going through severe economic times at the present and wanted to use their vote to express their dissatisfaction with the government’s policies, Su said. The DPP should seize this opportunity to show voters the quality of the party’s rule and seek the chance to serve the public, according to the opposition leader.

There was no need to put all one’s efforts into other areas and let down supporters, he said, emphasizing that the party had already completed the first phase of reaching a consensus about China policies. Further debate and discussion could come along slowly, without haste and without pushing the election campaign into the background, he reportedly said.

In the radio interview, Su insisted that the party’s attitudes toward China were not the only cause for its defeat in the 2012 presidential and legislative elections. He also compared Taiwan to a seagull walking on a beach.

If a man saw the bird on the beach and tried to catch it, it would fly away, but if he allowed it to walk undisturbed, it would not try to flee and both could enjoy each other’s company, the DPP leader said. China should not try and catch Taiwan or block it, but allow it more space and give it encouragement, Su said.

If China spent all its energy on trying to obstruct Taiwan, it would not only weaken Taiwan’s power but also its own, while allowing the world to see its lack of confidence, he said.

Turning to the reasons for DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s defeat in 2012, Su rejected the claim that the party’s China policies were the sole cause for the election result. The winners of the elections were trying to write a story and attribute responsibilities, he said. The China policies were one reason, but not the only one and not the most important one, Su concluded.

The opposition leader said he had no plans to visit China for the time being. Beijing should not set preconditions, because that way it would only hear what it wanted to hear and see what it wanted to see, which meant it was restricting its own view of Taiwan, he said. Several leading DPP members have visited China, but the country refuses official visits by party leaders as long as it does not reject Taiwan Independence.

A recent proposal by top DPP lawmaker Ker Chien-ming to freeze the party’s Taiwan Independence clause met with widespread disapproval and was not discussed at last week’s policy meeting. Su told the interview that the clause was part of the DPP’s history and could therefore not be completely negated, even though it belonged to the past.

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